Liveblogging Top Chef Vegas: Episode 9

topchef2It’s time: Restaurant Wars.

Bring it, d-bags. May Kevin rule the day.

LAST WEEK: Eli is a mama’s boy. The brothers are secretly trying to destroy one another, and it’s becoming less and less of a secret. And no one likes Robin.

10:01: Mousy feels really good that she’s still here, which hopefully means she’s on the way out. She’s an unlikely combination of boring and unlikeable.

10:03: Quickfire: A Tag-Team cookoff. Guest judge Rick Moonen. Brian: “Isn’t he the one who was all coked out on Top Chef Masters?”

Shiv and one of the brothers are team leaders. We’ve got Shiv, Beardie, Mousy and Weed vs. the Brothers, Not Jonah Hill and Robin. And somehow there are blindfolds, and no one is allowed to talk to one another and I need a moment to process what’s going on.

10:06: Okay, I think I get it – it’s like one person starts the story, then the next person picks it up, then the next until everyone’s cooked, except that you don’t get to hear or see what the prior chefs have gone. I’ll give it to them – this could be interesting.

10:08: Weed is waiting his turn with his fists held together like he’s fricking Cobra Kai. Then it’s his turn and he’s just…confused.

10:10: Team Not Jonah Brothers Robin does not have their shit together, nor do they seem to be trying to figure out what the prior chefs were setting up for them. Who leaves the last person a foam to work with? Who uses foam at all any more?

Beardie totally sees what his team was setting up for him, and then doesn’t do it. Because he has giant balls, and is awesome. You roast the hell out of that fish in butter, Yukon Cornelius.

10:12: Okay, when brother follows brother the foam makes sense. I mean, in context of the challenge. Not in the greater context of culinary life.

10:14: Brian just called the whole season for Yukon. I’m not sure I disagree. Also, I want him to be my BFF. I bet he’s really good at judging people, and then he could make me dinner. Best date ever.

10:17: The Not Jonah Brothers and Robin team have some kind of steak thing, power team Shiv and Yukon have a fish that Shiv misnames in front of Rick Moonen who, if I’m not mistaken, is a seafood guy. Well played, Shiv.

10:18: Winners: Shiv/Yukon Power Team!

ELIMINATION CHALLENGE: Restaurant Wars, keeping the same teams. I don’t want to see the Power Team fail, although Restaurant Wars is historically like the Super Bowl: everyone is so fed up than they all tank.

10:20: Extra pressure: Rick Moonen is all about sustainable seafood, and the restaurants have to be sustainable.

I’m a little worried about Power Team, because they’re saddled with Mousy. At this point, I know everyone’s real names and just choose not to use them. Except for Mousy, I can’t be bothered to learn it. Something with an L?

10:23: Commercials: “I cannot live with a psychotic alien in my garage!!” I wasn’t looking up at the time, so I have no context for this statement. I think it’s probably better that way.

Brian, on Andy Cohen: “Isn’t he embarrassed? He should be embarrassed.” I cannot disagree.

10:25: Apparently, her name is Laurine Wickett. That is not a winner’s name. I’ve forgotten it already. Power Team decides to nix dessert.

One brother calls the other brother cocky. I believe the pot and kettle have already met.

10:26: Eli: “I’ve had some issues with Robin in the past.” Subtext: “I hate Robin.”

Mousy just mispronounced mascarpone, one of my major television chef pet peeves. You’re on the shit list, Mousy. I can’t even get indignant when Robin tries to physically prevent her from getting any sparkling water. Because sparkling water? Is going to win it.

10:27: Eli is taking front of the house for his team. He puts on a suit. He looks like a 13-year-old trying to be the cool kid at his Bar Miztvah.

10:30: Robin: “Michael has asserted his domination.” Which makes me feel like I’m watching Animal Planet. “Let’s watch as the younger lion challenges the older lion for control of the pride.”

Brother Michael: “Some feelings might get hurt.” Subtext: “I hate Robin.”

10:31: Shiv worked at Le Bernadin for 5 years? Holy shit.

Team Not Jonah Brothers + Robin have named their restaurant “REVOLT,” except the “E” is backward, because they are playful and revolutionary and totally original. Power Team is opening Mission, which is, sadly, boring as hell.

10:33: I cannot take Not Jonah Hill seriously on a normal day. In a suit? THIS SHOW IS TRYING TO KILL ME. His Bar Mitzvah theme: “My Mom Is My Best Friend.”

Tom Colicchio comes by for some pointless chatting while everyone scurries other than Eli.

10:35: Brother 1 to Brother 2: “Don’t be a dick.” Possible or not possible?

You know what I’m loving about this episode? Minimal Weed. It really keeps my crankiness level from getting too out of control. Even Not Jonah Hill isn’t getting to me because I keep picturing all his nerdy friends sucking the helium out of the balloons from the balloon arch at his Bar Mitzvah party.

What, like you never did that?

10:38: Commercials: Maria Shriver’s face comes to a terrifyingly sharp point.

10:41: Padma is wearing some kind of ankle feathers.


The judges head to REVOLT, which both the judges and guests agree is a stupid, stupid name.

10:42: I know all the judges like it, but something about the phrase “pressed chicken” just doesn’t sit right with me.

The brothers’ incessant bickering keeps food from going out. Is it just me, or is the “duo of beef” a total rip off of seven different dishes from past seasons?

10:44: Brothers. Robin. Yelling. Anti-climactic. Someone swearing in the kitchen? God’s eyes!

10:45: Did he just say spearmint menthol ice cream? Again, the menthol is not sitting right with me although everyone seems to love it.

10:46: Mousy astutely observes that this night is unlike all other nights. Yes, because it’s RESTAURANT WARS.

Padma asks for salt, and there’s my Weed! How dare someone want to season his food? He seasoned his food PERFECTLY.

10:49: Mousy drops the food and flees with no explanation. Perhaps the mystery is supposed to be part of the experience? Then again, perhaps not.

Tom, on Shiv, whose sauce has broken: “Her mentor (Eric Ripert) would not be happy with her right now.” Ouch.

10:51: I’m scared for Power Team, although the judges did like Yukon’s pork plate. I blame Mousy.¬† Aaaand I’m realizing that we’re in for an hour and fifteen minutes here.

10:53: As predicted, no one really runs away with it. Although no one did anything as horrific as Sam’s watermelon and gorgonzola salad from a few seasons ago, so thank god for small mercies.

10:55: Commercials: That woman in the Tresemme commercial with the great looking hair? It has no body and it looks greasy. There. Someone had to say it.

10:56: Pointless interlude: Mike in the kitchen. So he’s the less dickish one? Seriously, the season’s going to be put to bed and I’m still not going to know.

As of right now, I officially resign myself to never being able to tell which brother is which. Unavoidable, when you never get to look at the screen and let’s face it, they’re both kinda monotone and say assholish things.

10:58: Commercials: Brian knows almost all the words to the Glad commercial  with the Shaft-esque theme song. Bless his heart.

11:00: JUDGE’S TABLE: REVOLT’s up first, and they are the winners, the “best Restaurant wars restaurant in six seasons.”

Rick Moonen: “I like chicken.” Like the Larry King skit on SNL: “The more I think about it, the more I like chicken.”

11:01: Winner: Michael. He gets ten grand, which he graciously decides to split with his team. Except Robin.

Kidding, even Robin.

11:03: Mission gets sent to the judges, but we don’t immediately see what happens because we have to watch the brothers spend an extra few minutes bickering and being bitter about everything the other stands for.

11:06: Shiv’s broken sauce almost brings her to tears. How can such a bad ass so consistently be so close to falling apart? I can’t re-nickname so late in the season. I feel the fool. Still, there’s no way she’s going home for it.

Mousy owns up to doing a terrible job in the front of the house. Please send her home.

11:08: The judges have their answer, but we have to go to commercial because we need to drag this out for another 7 minutes.

11:12: Is it wrong that I kinda want to see the brothers just let loose and get into a fist fight during the reunion show? And then, when the beat down ended, they could turn on Andy Cohen; I know we’d all like to see that.

11:13: There was nothing bad about Weed’s dishes…except that they were cooked by Weed.

KNIFED: Mousy. “I don’t know that I want to be in a competition for anything with anyone, really.” And you were here because…

NEXT WEEK: Natalie Portman. She’s got special food needs, right? Vegan, kosher, something? Prepare to hear some bitchery.

Playing Fantasy Top Chef? Head over to Blog Well Done for the current rankings.

22 thoughts on “Liveblogging Top Chef Vegas: Episode 9

  1. Who loves Beardie? I do! (Anyone else noticing the one-by-one appearance of all the Top Chef Master’s contestants?)

  2. Okay we’ve developed a new drinking game at our house – every time someone says, “Flavor Profile” we do a shot, lol! 10 minutes in and we’re already shitfaced ;)

  3. Not Jonah Hill is somehow making himself even less likable than last week. “This is a great opportunity for me to…” What? Be a good teammate? Show my crazy culinary skills? No. “…opportunity for me to make some money.” Not that I’m anti-making-money, but somehow the way he said it made him look even more like a petulant child.

  4. Andy Cohen makes me want to hurl. He’s like the customer service rep who answered the phone when I called Lands’ End the other day by saying, “Hello. How can I make you smile?”

  5. Did he just say, “I don’t know WHY she would need salt…” Um, because you didn’t put enough bloody salt on it, Weed.

  6. “If we tank on dessert, we fall into the history of Restaurant Wars and *That’s not optional for us*”

    English is hard, eh Brothers?

  7. Any of these names would have been better than REVOLT:
    arise, defy, riot, even insurrect. Seriously, it didn’t occur to any of them how easily revolt turns into revolting?

    I’m waiting for the brothers to implode.

    I always did love Yukon Cornelius, and now here he is in the flesh, making awesome food!

  8. Our guess is the brothers are showing up on forensic files next.

    Also, I’m entirely disgusted by Weed’s already obvious ogling of Natalie Portman from the clips alone.

  9. I said it last week, Shiv could bite the dust early, and tonight was a perfect example of why: no good under pressure (only brought upon herself), trying to do to much, etc. She might pull a Blais here. Or a Dale, or a Trey…

    And here is the final way you can tell the brothers apart (besides Bryan being the CUTER one): Michael is the MORE controlling, MORE dickish one. Actually, I think Bryan is way nicer and more level-headed, as well as being a better chef.

    Me, I would have sent Eli home just for having his undershirt showing and not tucking his real shirt in, fer Christ’s sake. I guess his Mommy shoulda been there to help him with that.

  10. The interlude showing Brother Michael being a total dick but talking about his big heart and how he’s a nice guy and a great leader and how dickish behavior is unacceptable in the kitchen? AWESOME. Totally made up for all the other useless interludes this season.

    I also appreciated Brother Bryan (aka Not Tony Hawk, aka The Disapprover) calmly observing that his brother’s bad behavior was being rewarded AGAIN and that he wasn’t really interested in participating. Because he’s been seeing it for 30 years. I think he genuinely wants his baby brother to succeed (he’s been thrilled for Bryan’s past wins), but doesn’t want him to be such a fucking punk in the process.

    I still hate Weed. And Robin.

    Shiv’s gonna die of a heart attack before she’s 40 if she keeps operating at such a high stress level. Girl, go to Canyon Ranch for a week or something.

  11. Tim, Robin’s restaurant wasn’t so much closed as kicked out of their current building. If you read up on it, it seems to have nothing to do with the quality or success of the restaurant and everything to do with a landlord wanting to do something else there.

  12. Shiv smokes. I’ve never seen her smoke, but her mouth is all “I smoke a pack a day and also frequently smoke Swisher sweets to get attention from boys.” And her body is the white-trash version of “slammin’,” wherein it’s all thin and flat-stomached and enviable EXCEPT there is something about her knees that say “we are usually employed to hold a bottle of Pabst while the rest of the body floats down a dirty river on a used tire.”

    I’m starting to become really fond of the Disapprover. I like Beardie, lots. But the Disapprover is just trying to reign in his asshole of a brother. I want to cut him slack.

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